Is Blockchain a game-changer for Supply Chain?

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What is Blockchain?

Blockchain can be described as an ‘append-only transaction ledger. Where the ledger can be written onto with new information, but the previous information, stored in blocks, cannot be edited, adjusted or changed.’[1] Or to put it in very basic terms, blockchain is a computer file used for storing digital data or events in a tamper-resistant way.

As blockchain is based on ‘a distributed, peer-to-peer topology where data can be stored globally on thousands of servers, it’s virtually impossible for one entity to gain control of or game the network.’[2]

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Frost & Sullivan predict that by 2025, the penetration rate of blockchain technology in functional areas such as retail, supply chain & logistics, and smart manufacturing will hit 37.2%.

Cryptography – from the ancient Greek words for “secret writing” – fundamentally means that the data which makes up a blockchain is encoded.

Blockchain Technology:
Blockchain technology can help to improve supply chain management, as it uses the distributed public general ledger. Blockchain can increase the efficiency and transparency of supply chains and positively impact everything from warehousing to delivery to payment. It can also help to:

  • Reduce errors
  • Avoid product delays
  • Eliminate fraudulent activities
  • Improve management
  • Increase consumer/supplier trust
  • Enhance transparency
  • Greater scalability
  • Better security
  • Increase innovation

Impact on Supply Chain:
The core logic of blockchains means that no piece of inventory can exist in the same place twice. Move a product from finished goods to in-transit, and that transaction status will be updated for everyone, everywhere, within minutes, with full traceability back to the point of origin.

The added transparency offers proof about how goods were sourced and how they comply with regulations. The physical, financial, and digital information is brought together in one platform to reveal sources of value leakage – from everyday inefficiencies to fraud and abuse – and helps you hone new strategies to combat them.[3]

Blockchain can completely change the game for supply chain. As technology advances, we can expect to see some significant improvements for the industry.

What are you most excited to see improve for supply chain with the introduction of blockchain?

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[1] Forbes

[2] Computer World

[3] Digitalist Mag

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